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Eatontown Personal Injury Law Blog

Understanding LBD

People who live in New Jersey may be one of the almost 1.4 million individuals in the United States with Lewy body dementia, or LBD. This is a complex and progressive disorder of the brain in which Lewy bodies accumulate in the parts of the brain that oversee movement, behavior and cognition. Its symptoms are very similar to well-known diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, resulting in the condition being severely underdiagnosed. There are many healthcare professionals, including physicians, who have no familiarity with LBD.

People who suffer from LBD can exhibit a wide range of symptoms. They may have difficulties with remembering, thinking, moving and sleeping. They may also experience drastic changes in behavior.

Smartphones have made mobile workers more distracted

Thanks to its Driver Safety Solutions, the vehicle management and reimbursement platform Motus has helped businesses reduce collision rates among their grey fleet drivers by 35 percent. However, it is clear that distracted driving is still an ongoing issue among such drivers and among mobile workers as a whole. New Jersey motorists will want to know about a study that Motus has released concerning this topic.

Its 2018 Distracted Driving Report shows that there is a parallel between smartphone ownership and auto accident rates among the mobile workforce. The former rose from 55 to 77 percent between 2013 and 2017, while the latter rose from 5.7 million to 6.4 million accidents. This is a 12.3 percent increase in car crashes.

Construction sites: the top five safety hazards

Construction workers in New Jersey should be familiar with the top safety hazards in their industry. Though construction workers make up 6 percent of the U.S. population, construction injuries account for 20 percent of all injuries among private sector employees. The following are the top five causes of construction site accidents.

Falls are to blame for over one third of all construction fatalities. Common factors in falls include unstable work surfaces, failure to wear fall protection equipment and the use of scaffolding and ladders that do not meet safety standards. These are all preventable factors. Employers will also need fall prevention equipment like safety nets and guardrails.

Amazon warehouses earn spot on list of most dangerous workplaces

Consumers in New Jersey enjoy the convenience of ordering merchandise online at Amazon, but they are insulated from the reportedly difficult working conditions endured by employees at Amazon warehouses. The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health has placed the online retail giant on its "dirty dozen" list of the most dangerous workplaces in the country.

The organization cited the deaths of seven workers since 2013 within the company's system of 140 domestic fulfillment centers. Three people died in one five-week period in several warehouses last year. Reports from workers and former workers describe a management that is hostile to people who suffer injuries. One lawsuit filed by a 43-year-old man claims that the company refused to acknowledge his report about a back injury and initiate a workers' compensation claim. A manager allegedly said that the employee was too young to have a back injury and promptly fired him.

Chemical handling: 11 important safety rules

The following are 11 basic safety rules that chemical handlers in New Jersey will want to see incorporated into their workplace and follow. They are all top priorities, so no particular order is given. The first rule is for workers to follow all established practices and go about their duties as they were trained to do. The second rule is to be cautious and anticipate any hazards before working.

Employers, for their part, should have procedures in place for emergency situations like fires and spills. They should ensure that the workplace is cleaned to prevent contamination. They are required to provide workers with personal protective equipment like gloves and respirators, and worn-out or damaged PPE should be replaced.

Study profiles those at highest risk for distracted driving

A study published by the Society for Risk Analysis has uncovered four profiles of drivers who are strongly inclined to call or text while behind the wheel. New Jersey residents may be interested in the results because they could point the way toward more effective distracted driving campaigns that target certain received notions about road safety.

The first profile group was women, who were found to be more likely than men to use their phones while driving. The other three groups are drivers who frequently call or text to begin with, drivers with negative attitudes about safety and drivers with few inhibitions. Researchers found that, on the whole, more experienced drivers were less likely to engage in distracting behavior.

Transportation accidents killed the most workers in 2016

New Jersey readers may be surprised to learn that transportation mishaps and crashes killed more U.S. workers than any other type of job-related accident in 2016. Meanwhile, workplace violence leapfrogged slips, trips and falls to become the second leading cause of job-related fatalities that year.

The report used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries to determine the most dangerous jobs in America in 2016. According to the report, logging topped the list, with a fatality rate of 135.9 deaths per 100,000 workers. The second most dangerous job was fishing, with a fatality rate of 91 deaths per 100,000 workers. Aircraft pilots had the third most dangerous job, with 86 deaths per 100,000 workers. Roofers and trash collectors rounded out the top 5, with 48.6 and 34.1 deaths per 100,000 workers, respectively.

Auto distractions caused by entertainment systems

Smartphones are often blamed for the rise in distracted driving accidents in New Jersey and around the country, but research from the American Automobile Association suggests that using sophisticated automobile entertainment and navigation systems can be just as dangerous as sending a text message while behind the wheel. AAA tested five vehicle electronic systems from Ford, General Motors, Dodge, Honda and Kia, and t found that all of them place high or very high demands on drivers.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Utah. They observed 64 participants to find out how distracting automobile entertainment and navigation systems are and whether or not connecting them to smartphones reduces the problem. While the researchers found that features like Apple's CarPlay and Android's Auto make fewer demands on drivers, they concluded that they can still be dangerously distracting in many situations.

Traumatic brain injuries can lead to mental health issues

New Jersey residents may be aware that brain injuries can lead to a wide variety of symptoms, including blurred vision, confusion and other side effects. What is not always mentioned, however, is that one's mental health can also be impacted by a concussion.

Multiple studies have shown that a person's emotions or behaviors can actually change following a traumatic brain injury. In some cases, those who suffer a traumatic brain injury develop anxiety or depression. For example, one study found that up to 33 percent of patients experienced depression during the immediate recovery period following a traumatic brain injury. A second study found that approximately 53 percent of patients experienced depression within a year after the incident occurred.

Wearable tech has workplace safety applications

Connected technology created by the Internet of Things has emerged as an important tool to help workers prevent injuries or get help when accidents happen. Many workers in New Jersey operate alone, and small wearable tags, such as a Wearsafe tag, can give workers an easy one-touch way to contact an employer or emergency contact if they feel threatened or get hurt. A device like this can provide a person's location and allow for group chat.

Other companies have developed worker applications that can be used on smartphones. Employers can use the geolocalization technology loaded in the smartphone to customize settings for workers' specific safety concerns. Wearable technology connected through the internet can also collect data about a worker's actions and environment. Employers could monitor this data to gain insights about worker behavior and potential safety problems. Sensors attached to a worker might alert a person to malfunctioning equipment in a manufacturing setting and potentially prevent an accident.

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